How Long Should You Stay on the Atkins Diet?

Staying on the Atkins Diet

For those who are concerned about conflicting reports of the side effects of a high protein diet plan, those following Atkins Diet often ask, "How long should you stay on the Atkins Diet?"

Is Akins a Healthy Eating Plan?

Many people think of the Atkins Diet as one loaded with plenty of red meat, fried in butter with a side of bacon. Well, maybe not quite that drastic. However, when consuming the amount of protein found on the Atkins plan (30 - 35 percent of total kilojoules come from protein), there hasn't been a single study or research review that shows it causes any kidney problems or any suggestion of liver problems often said to be associated with a high protein diet.

The fundamental principles and idea of the Atkins Diets is permanent weight control. Unlike most other diets, it takes advantage of the role that fat plays in our bodies, and switches it from the backup energy fuel system and makes it the primary system. This means that when carbs are limited, fat is the fuel burned for energy. During the induction phase, the diet starts off allowing an extremely low amount of carbohydrates. Little by little, healthy carbohydrates like vegetables are added. So for the most part, the diet includes protein and vegetables.

Is it Safe to Stay on the Induction Phase?

People often love the rapid weight loss experienced on the Induction Phase and want to continue it. The induction phase limits your intake of carbs to 20 grams a day. The longer you follow this phase of the diet, the more weight you'll drop. It is safe and easy to follow as long as you meet the following conditions:

  • Have your doctor check that your blood chemistries, lipid values, blood pressure or blood sugar levels continue to improve or remain stable and within normal limits.
  • You have a feeling of well being and experience: high energy, normal sleep patterns and stable moods.
  • You're not bored with the diet. (Otherwise this will lead to cheating and failure).

However, even though it is easy to follow the Induction Phase and the weight loss is exciting, it is not recommended. Remember that the Atkins approach is to bring you through the Induction and Weight Loss Phases and eventually into Lifetime Maintenance. People who stay on the Induction Phase without making the transitions through the Weight Loss Phases, often return to their old eating habits and put the weight back on.

How Long Should You Stay on the Atkins Diet Plan?

As you grow older, your metabolism changes. Because of this, when a woman goes through menopause, there's a good chance that her carbohydrate threshold will be lower than when she was younger. If you're wondering how long should you stay on the Atkins Diet, a variety factors play into how fast you lose weight, how long it will take to reach your goal, and what you'll have to do as an individual to keep it off. These factors include things like:

  • metabolism
  • age
  • gender
  • medications you're taking

With that said, it is also important to point out that Atkins isn't just about losing weight. It is also about maintaining the weight loss you achieve. The entire Atkins Diet program is designed to establish a lifestyle of eating to achieve both good health and your optimal weight. With this in mind, you'll soon find the answer for, "How long should you stay on the Atkins Diet?" If you do it right, it is for the rest of your life.

Exercise and the Atkins Diet

Speaking of doing it right, what about exercise and the Atkins plan? It is so easy for dieters to want to diet without exercise, but in reality for the best results and health, exercise is an important component of any diet. Regularly walking will help you determine your individualized level of carbohydrate tolerance. This is an important factor in the Atkins Diet because when you go above this amount, you will gain weight. If you stay below it you'll maintain your weight.

Consult Your Doctor

You may think we sound like a broken record, but it is best for you to consult your doctor before starting the Atkins or any other diet plan. No one diet program is safe for every individual. As you follow this or any diet plan, pay attention to how you feel and check with your doctor with any concerns or questions. .

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How Long Should You Stay on the Atkins Diet?